In the practice of medicine no two worlds are farther apart than the inpatient and outpatient ones. There is a true disconnection between the goings-on in the hospital and the support staff back at the office. Unfortunately, this gap often leads to loss of patient follow up, suboptimal care, and in certain instances, hospital readmissions.
Playing Reactive Medicine
When patients are discharged from the hospital a lot of time and effort goes into preparing instructions, reviewing medications with the nurse, and figuring out what follow up care is needed. Most patients leave with a large stack of paper, but the onus lies entirely on the patient to execute these follow up instructions. For simpler issues and younger patients this shouldn’t be an issue. What about the older patients with complex problems, and laundry lists of medications? These patients are more likely to slip through the cracks, despite healthcare’s best efforts. When discharged patients reach out to the office, the staff are completely in the dark. “Oh, you just got out of the hospital and you need to see the doctor this week?” The staff are in reactive mode and the task of providing adequate care just became much harder.
Embrace the Proactive Model
I often tell the story about when I was in a patient’s room, tapped a few times on my mobile rounding and charge capture solution to arrange follow up, and a minute later the patient’s phone rang. He said, “Hang on, let me get that. Hmm. It’s YOUR office.” Indeed it was. It was my office staff knowing that this patient was in the hospital, was leaving that day, and what follow up was needed, and so they were calling to give him appointment details. He hung up the phone and looked at me in awe. I was of course beaming with pride. His impression of our practice changed forever. We were the proactive practice who knew what was going on in the field, and were operating at a higher level than what is generally expected of medical practices.
What Was That About a Mobile Rounding Solution?
Let me back up a bit. Modern practices need modern solutions. We adopted a comprehensive rounding and charge capture solution, which organized rounds, and easily let charges flow directly into the billing software. Total game changer. Ours also handled discharge planning, allowing the providers to indicate disposition, follow up needs, and even enter custom order sets for testing. This powerful bridge, incorporated into the natural workflow of the tool, allowed us to become that proactive practice.
Move the Outcomes Needle
Bridging the gap between the hospital and office made it easier for patients and for staff. It also started to improve patient outcomes. High risk patients were identified upstream, and the immediateness of the follow up instructions meant that my staff were putting increased focus on the sickest patients – the patients who were more likely to be readmitted. The patients who were mostly likely to get their new meds wrong. The patients who needed testing in a timely manner after discharge.
Data Is King
The proactive practice is proud and has a lot to celebrate. Their outcomes are better. The doctors’ lives are easier. No one likes playing catch-up or feeling left out of the loop, so staff are infinitely happier. What about the data? There is a mountain of available data when you take on a rounding solution. Tracking diseases, high-risk patients, and testing trends all become possible with reporting at your fingertips.
Playing reactive medicine is no fun. It is part of the old way of running a medical practice. More doctors are adopting smart solutions to streamline workflows and capture meaningful data. Improving the customer service aspect of medicine will go a long way. Transparency within the practice regarding the hospitalized patients and their needs is critical if you want to improve quality of care. Rounding solutions that encompass the entire workflow, not just charge capture, will bring your practice into the modern era.
For A Better Hospital Rounding Experience
At HybridChart, we provide technology that connects your healthcare team, increases efficiencies, AND improves your bottom line. HybridChart’s cloud-based software adapts to your practice’s unique workflow and will improve your profitability and patient outcomes by utilizing our 5 features: charge capture, census management, secure messaging, discharge planning, and data analytics.
NEVER miss another charge and get PAID for the work you do!
If you are interested in taking your medical practice to the next level and want to employ the best hospital charge capture practice available in the industry, come visit our website at www.hybridchart.com, call us at 1-877-977-5544, or click here to schedule a demo today!
- More About Dr. Sanders
Dr. Gregory Sanders is a Harvard-trained, practicing cardiologist and founder and CEO of HybridChart. He has been coding since the 1980s and has spent his medical career focusing on improving processes. His patient care skills earned him recognition as one of Phoenix Magazine's TOP DOCs. He lives in Scottsdale with his family.